There are a lot of good things about working with other people at your job. For one, having a co-worker allows you to share common goals for your company or employer. Another is fostering a good working relationship with other people and turning them into friends. But anytime you work with other people there’s bound to be conflict from time to time too. Fortunately, there are certain tools and tips you can use to promote teamwork and get along better.
1. Shared Calendar
One of the best tools to promote teamwork in an office environment is to use a shared calendar. In fact, there’s more than one advantage to using a shared calendar. Working on group projects is easier with a shared calendar. All team members can see when certain tasks are to be done and who is doing them. In addition, project meetings can be scheduled once on a shared calendar that everyone has access to. This saves time and keeps everyone on the same page, so to speak.
2. Business Website
Another way to promote teamwork is to have a business website. Even if there are only two or three people in your company, they can be featured on the site. This is helpful in making them feel like an important part of the business. It also allows other people, such as the public, to see what role they play in the business. If you end up getting any media publications then you will have a place to point to so that you can get more customers.
3. Scheduling System
Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or simply an employee, you can help promote teamwork in your business. One of the tools you can use to do this is a scheduling system much like Calendar has been named in the past. Scheduling systems allow all team members to see the various tasks involved in a large project. What’s more, as tasks and sub-tasks are completed and marked off, everyone knows it. If one or more tasks seem to be holding things up, all team members can see which task it is. They can then go to that worker and offer help or suggestions to get it finished. There are scheduling systems that allow messages to flow back and forth among team members. This is particularly helpful on projects that involve several people. It allows everyone to easily stay current with the project.
4. Workload Sharing
If you want another tip to promote teamwork, try workload sharing. In other words, a worker without enough to do could offer to help another who is overloaded with work. Obviously at times managers will have to step in and redirect workers to other projects. Either way it happens, the redistribution of work improves both efficiency and productivity. Workload sharing encourages teamwork as workers communicate where projects left off for seamless continuation of work tasks.
5. Limit Distractions
When you’re constantly getting phone calls or noisy notifications it disrupts your train of thought. It can also distract other employees around you who are trying to work. If neither you nor your fellow workers can concentrate, you won’t get as much done. Consequently, to promote teamwork in your place of business, try to limit distractions and productivity killers. Turn off your cell phone, put it away, or set it in another room entirely. While you are at it, shut off email, text, and social media notifications if possible. Set specific times of day when you can check for voicemail messages, emails, and texts. Completing this task in batches a couple of times a day enables everyone to be less disrupted by task changes. Your co-workers will appreciate your thoughtfulness whether or not they think to mention it. Not only that, but everyone will get more done.
6. Track Time
Did you know time tracking can promote teamwork in your workplace? When you track the time it takes to complete tasks, work can be assigned more evenly. This keeps one worker from being given too much work and another too little. An uneven workload can cause resentments among those who work together. Therefore, to build a better team you should track how long it takes to finish work duties.
7. Brainstorming Sessions
Sometimes when you have a work problem it requires brainstorming to solve it. Since two heads are often better than one, try asking a co-worker to brainstorm with you. You may come up with the right solution to the problem quicker. In addition, two people can bounce ideas off each other increasing creative ideas.
Cross-training can also promote teamwork, increase productivity, and improve moral in the workplace. Having one co-worker train another pushes them to work together and learn from each other. Through cross-training, employees can coordinate, as a team, to give businesses better work schedule flexibility. Workers can plan together so everyone enjoys time off for personal appointments and family events. Yet, while staff members are absent, none of the important work in the business gets neglected. Unexpected events, such as personal emergencies and sickness, won’t keep work from being completed as it needs to be. Other trained workers can fill in for the employee who is gone enabling coverage of the company. Productivity will increase, and the team, as a whole, will be stronger.
9. Job Swapping
If you really want to promote teamwork, try job swapping in your business. Job swapping lets one employee take-on the unfamiliar duties of another for a short duration. Obviously the positions being swapped need to be somewhat comparable. Otherwise, the results could be disastrous. Still, job swapping, unlike cross-training, is not necessarily done so employees can back up each other’s positions. That can be one benefit of a job swap, but it isn’t the only reason to do one. Alternatively, the idea behind a job swap is for workers to gain greater appreciation for their fellow employees. This is especially helpful for staff members who don’t always see eye to eye. Walking in each other’s shoes highlights the difficulties each person encounters on a daily basis. This can strengthen worker relationships and teamwork in your business.
10. Team Building Workshops
At times when you are trying to promote teamwork in a business you must seek outside help. That’s where team building workshops come into play. Off-site workshops allow team members to work together without the pressures of the workplace. Sometimes they can work together in different ways through team building activities. These types of activities allow co-workers to help each other and work cooperatively. Staff members may even improve any weak areas they possess with the help of team mates. At the same time, previously unseen strengths may come to light to managers and supervisors. Finding hidden knowledge and talents is a bonus to any business. It could even spur reassignments in the workplace later on.
11. Fun Activities
You can further your business and improve co-worker relationships with outside fun activities. Company picnics, Christmas parties, potlucks, and other activities help employees get to know one another. They also serve to let your hair down a little. It isn’t always possible to let loose and joke around in a high stress work environment. That’s why having a few fun activities away from the business are important. They allow workers to socialize together and see each other in a different light. Sometimes staff who didn’t necessarily get along in the past become friends through these events. That is why they are a great tool for team building as well as just being fun. There’s no doubt that when everyone in your business operates as a team you’ll enjoy greater success. Use these tools and tips to promote teamwork and that success won’t be far behind.
Originally published here.